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Z_CNHI News Service

October 7, 2013

Buick LaCrosse upgrades for 2014 with styling, advanced technology

Buick has come a long was from its days of making "grandma cars," as my wife calls them.

If you don't believe it, take a look at the new LaCrosse. This full-size sedan is in the same class as the floating, boat-like Buicks that tempted many grandmothers of yore, but it looks, feels and drives nothing like them.

To me, the LaCrosse feels like a cross — or crosse, if you will — between a Toyota and a Cadillac.

It exudes the quiet, unassuming but incredibly well-built confidence of a Toyota Avalon, for example. You get the sense that it's designed to last, with tight-fitting switchgear and a carved-from-granite thud when you close the doors.

It's also available with the same bells and whistles you expect from its flashier cousins at Cadillac. My test car came with a heads-up display that projects digital data onto the windshield and radar-based adaptive cruise control that adjusts your speed with traffic.

My favorite feature, though, is something General Motors calls the Safety Alert Seat. That's a fancy way of saying "a seat that vibrates when you're about to do something stupid."

Radar sensors and video cameras keep an eye on what's happening around the car, and they'll make the driver's seat buzz on the left or right side depending on where your attention needs to be directed. If you're backing out of a parking spot and the LaCrosse senses another car approaching from the left, for example, the left side of the seat will buzz.

It offers some other smart safety features, too, including the ability to sense fast-approaching cars in the next lane that are up to 230 feet behind you, Lane Departure Warning that alerts you when you wander across the stripes in the road, and automatic emergency braking if it senses you're going to crash.

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    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

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  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

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    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
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    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

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    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

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